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Harrison J. Westwick and Mohammed F. Shamji

OBJECT

Most spinal meningiomas are intradural lesions in the thoracic spine that present with both local pain and myelopathy. By using the large prospective Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, the authors studied the incidence of spinal meningiomas and examined demographic and treatment factors predictive of death.

METHODS

Using SEER*Stat software, the authors queried the SEER database for cases of spinal meningioma between 2000 and 2010. From the results, tumor incidence and demographic statistics were computed; incidence was analyzed as a function of tumor location, pathology, age, sex, and malignancy code. Survival was analyzed by using a Cox proportional hazards ratio in SPSS for age, sex, marital status, primary site, size quartile, treatment modality, and malignancy code. In this analysis, significance was set at a p value of 0.05.

RESULTS

The 1709 spinal meningiomas reported in the SEER database represented 30.7% of all primary intradural spinal tumors and 7.9% of all meningiomas. These meningiomas occurred at an age-adjusted incidence of 0.193 (95% CI 0.183–0.202) per 100,000 population and were closely related to sex (337 [19.7%] male patients and 1372 [80.3%] female patients). The Cox hazard function for mortality in males was higher (2.4 [95% CI1.7–3.5]) and statistically significant, despite the lower lesion incidence in males. All-cause survival was lowest in patients older than 80 years. Primary site and treatment modality were not significant predictors of mortality.

CONCLUSIONS

Spinal meningiomas represent a significant fraction of all primary intradural spinal tumors and of all meningiomas. The results of this study establish the association of lesion incidence and survival with sex, with a less frequent incidence in but greater mortality among males.

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Mohammed F. Shamji, Harrison J. Westwick and Robert F. Heary

OBJECT

Structural spinal surgery yields improvement in pain and disability for selected patients with spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or a herniated intervertebral disc. A significant fraction of patients exhibit persistent postoperative neuropathic pain (PPNP) despite technically appropriate intervention, and such patients can benefit from spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to alleviate suffering. The complication profile of this therapy has not been systematically assessed and, thus, was the goal of this review.

METHODS

A comprehensive literature search was performed to identify prospective cohorts of patients who had PPNP following structurally corrective lumbar spinal surgery and who underwent SCS device implantation. Data about study design, technique of SCS lead introduction, and complications encountered were collected and analyzed. Comparisons of complication incidence were performed between percutaneously and surgically implanted systems, with the level of significance set at 0.05.

RESULTS

Review of 11 studies involving 542 patients formed the basis of this work: 2 randomized controlled trials and 9 prospective cohorts. Percutaneous implants were used in 4 studies and surgical implants were used in 4 studies; in the remainder, the types were undefined. Lead migration occurred in 12% of cases, pain at the site of the implantable pulse generator occurred in 9% of cases, and wound-related complications occurred in 5% of cases; the latter 2 occurred more frequently among surgically implanted devices.

CONCLUSIONS

Spinal cord stimulation can provide for improved pain and suffering and for decreased narcotic medication use among patients with PPNP after lumbar spinal surgery. This study reviewed the prospective studies forming the evidence base for this therapy, to summarize the complications encountered and, thus, best inform patients and clinicians considering its use. There is a significant rate of minor complications, many of which require further surgical intervention to manage, including lead migration or implant infection, although such complications do not directly threaten patient life or function.

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Harrison J. Westwick, Sami Obaid, Florence Morin-Roy, Pierre-Olivier Champagne and Alain Bouthillier

Intraventricular rupture of a colloid cyst is a rare phenomenon and has been proposed as a mechanism for sudden death in patients with colloid cysts. Imaging of a colloid cyst during rupture has been described in only one other instance. The authors report a highly unusual case of a 53-year-old man who presented with acute onset headaches and imaging findings of hydrocephalus caused by a colloid cyst originating from the septum pellucidum and superior surface of the roof of the third ventricle. Interestingly, the colloid cyst revealed imaging signs of intraventricular rupture characterized by a tail-like drainage of cystic contents into the occipital horn of the lateral ventricle. The patient was surgically treated with a craniotomy and transcallosal approach to the colloid cyst, where it was noted that the cyst wall was spontaneously open. This rare case highlights unique imaging findings of a rare event in an infrequent pathology confirmed with intraoperative microscopy. The authors further document the process of cyst rupture and speculate on its pathomechanisms.

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Tarek P. Sunna, Harrison J. Westwick, Fahed Zairi, Ilyes Berania and Daniel Shedid

Anterior sacral meningoceles (ASMs) are rare defects in the sacrum with thecal sac herniations and symptoms that commonly include constipation, dysmenorrhea, and urinary disturbances. An ASM causing hydronephrosis and acute renal failure from compression of the lower portion of the urinary tract is a rare clinical entity. Only one other case has been reported. The authors present the case of a 37-year-old man admitted for obstructive renal failure and hydronephrosis due to a giant ASM that measured 25 × 12 × 18 cm and compressed the ureters and bladder. The ASM was successfully treated via an anterior transabdominal approach in which the authors used a novel technique for watertight closure of the meningocele pedicle with an endoscopic cutting stapler. The authors review the literature and discuss the surgical options for the treatment of ASMs, specifically the management of ASMs in the context of obstructive renal failure and hydronephrosis.